10 things you need to know today: October 10, 2012

The Week

Romney says he won’t pursue abortion laws, Toyota recalls 7 million cars, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

POSTED ON OCTOBER 10, 2012, AT 8:13 AM

 

Toyota has recalled more than 7 million cars because of malfunctioning power window switches that could cause fire.  Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

 

1. MITT PROMISES NO ABORTION LEGISLATION
Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he would not pursue any abortion-related legislation if he were elected president. “There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda” ,  he told the The Des Moines Register. Romney did say, however, that he’d reinstate a policy banning nongovernmental organizations from using federal money to pay for abortions. Romney’s campaign team immediately sought to downplay the remarks. “Gov. Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life,” said spokeswoman Andrea Saul. [Associated Press]
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2. TOYOTA RECALLS 7 MILLION CARS
Toyota Motor Corp. announced a massive recall of more than 7 million cars on Wednesday due to malfunctioning power window switches that could pose a fire risk. The recall affects nearly 2.5 million vehicles in the U.S. The recall is on a variety of models over multiple years, including the Yaris, Corolla, and Camry. No accidents, injuries, or deaths have been reported, and the windows can be fixed in about 40 minutes, said the Japanese company. [Reuters]
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3. SANDUSKY GETS SENTENCE OF 30 TO 60 YEARS
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has been sentenced to 30 to 60 years behind bars for the serial molestation of young boys. Judge John M. Cleland said the punishment guarantees Sandusky, 68, will be in prison for the rest of his life. The disgraced coach gave a rambling speech declaring his innocence. “We’re in the fourth quarter,” he said. “In the fourth quarter, you find out who will stand by you. For those standing up for me, we will continue to fight.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]
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4. MENINGITIS DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 12
Four more deaths are being attributed to an outbreak of meningitis linked to contaminated steroid shots, bringing the number killed in the U.S. to 12. Lawmakers are calling for stricter regulation of pharmaceutical companies. The number of those infected has climbed to 121, and health officials say as many as 13,000 received the tainted injections. The Massachusetts company that produced the steroid has closed voluntarily and has recalled its product. [Reuters]
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5. ISRAEL’S NETANYAHU CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hoping to take advantage of high favorability ratings, announced that he would hold elections in early 2013 instead of October of next year. Netanyahu argued that an early vote was necessary because his coalition government cannot pass a national budget. “It is impossible to pass a responsible budget,” Netanyahu said. “Facing two upheavals around us, economic and security, it is my obligation to put the national interest above all else. Therefore, I have decided that the good of the state of Israel requires holding elections now.” [Wall Street Journal]
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6. TWO AMERICANS WIN NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY
Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka won the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work showing how body cells respond to stimuli. Their work has helped the development of more effective drugs, said the prize committee on Wednesday. [Reuters]
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7. TALIBAN SHOOTS 14-YEAR-OLD ACTIVIST
A 14-year-old girl in Pakistan who blogged about life under the Taliban and the need for girls’ education was shot by gunmen as she was coming home from school. The extremist group took responsibility for the attack  that left Malala Yousafzai wounded in the head and neck. A Taliban spokesman declared, “This was a new chapter of obscenity, and we have to finish this chapter.” Pakistani lawmakers have condemned the attack. [Associated Press]
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8. SURVEY: 1 IN 5 AMERICANS HAS NO RELIGION
The fastest growing religious group in America is actually those with no religion at all, according to a new Pew survey. Approximately one in five people said they are not affiliated with any religion, up 25 percent from five years ago. Thirty-three million Americans say they aren’t religious, with 13 million in that group identifying themselves as atheist or agnostic. [CNN]
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9. RUSSIA FREES ONE JAILED PUSSY RIOT MEMBER
One member of the activist punk band Pussy Riot was freed from prison on Wednesday after the three jailed members asked a Moscow court to overturn their two-year sentence for protesting against President Vladimir Putin. The court left the sentences in place for Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, and Maria Alyokhina, 24, and issued a suspended sentence  for Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30. The trio argued their performance outside a cathedral was a criticism of politics, not religion. [Associated Press,Reuters]

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10. SARAH PALIN TO WRITE  FITNESS BOOK
Sarah Palin writing a book about getting fit? You betcha. The former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate told Peoplem agazine that she and her family want to educate America about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Our family is writing a book on fitness and self-discipline focusing on where we get our energy and balance as we still eat our beloved homemade comfort foods!” she said, adding, “We promise you what we do works.” [People]